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On The Side

March 19 2003

Mexican Road Race Lamborghini

Leave those numbers on the car, it's probably the only racing 400GT in the world!

Aaron A. Arnold, from Texas, recently sent us this unusual story about a Lamborghini raced by Jerry Galich. We hope Jerry will read and enjoy.

Jerry Galich is a long time resident and former fireman of Huntington Beach, California. Jerry ran a shop which specialized in Alfas, and he worked on other Italian cars, as well. He purchased the 400GT 2+2 in 1972, with a spun rod and damaged crank, for $3,500.00. Shortly after, he began the long process of completely rebuilding the engine.

This early production car, #0586, was originally imported to Mexico with a speedometer in kilometers and has non-US Amber and Red taillights. Although originally silver, Jerry had the car repainted Firemist Blue, over a previous yellow paint job.

400GT Interior is stock aside from shoulder harnesses and fire extinguisher.

Jerry entered the car in La Carrera III, held September 18, 1987, which ran from San Felipe to Ensenada, Mexico, a 116 mile race. He installed a set of borrowed Miura-type wheels, shoulder harnesses, and a fire extinguisher. All of the cars that entered were race prepped, except the 400. Jerry placed 16th out of 90 cars, with his son and co-pilot Vic. During the final portion of the race, he was dueling with two policemen in a Dodge Shelby (Charger CSX?) and as they tried to pass him, he decided not to downshift, just layed on the throttle and stayed ahead. The policeman video taped this from their car, and I am begging Jerry to supply me with a copy that he received from them.

Jerry -- entered the Lambo in the Mexican Retro Road Race

I came into contact with Jerry thru a wanted ad for 400GT parts, last year. I bought a rough, non-running 400GT from the East Coast, and Jerry responded to the wanted ad. It turned out that he had no parts that I required, but had a nice complete car that he offered me. I quickly sold the other 400, and purchased the car from Jerry, along with a spare engine and other parts. Jerry also owns a factory race-prepped Alfa Montreal, reportedly one of two built.

I found a "support group" for old Lamborghinis on the internet, and have joined the Vintage Lamborghini Garage, a Yahoo Group. Its moderators are Jack Riddell and Fred Paroutaud, both 400 GT 2+2 owners from California. They offer a wealth of information and 50 years collective 400GT experience.

In the late 1980's, Jack and Fred joined Jerry on the road for the trip to Monterey and the annual Lamborghini Club America event. During this high speed tour Jack noticed a CHP who promptly did a flip-flop to catch the marauding band of 400s. Jack motioned to the other drivers to slow down, and Jerry misinterpreted this to mean let's go faster. Jerry then took off, and wondered why the group was not gaining. He noticed a small speck in his rear view mirror, thought it was the 400 group and slowed down. It was the CHP, in his panting Mustang, who did not turn the car off for fear of it boiling over. "I am glad you decided to slow down" he told Jerry. Then the 400 group passed Jerry and the CHP.

Although my intentions were to restore the car to its original state, VLG group members have convinced me to leave the car as it is in its race decor, as it is believed to be the only 400GT 2+2 ever entered into a real race. I rebuilt the 6 weber 40DCOE carbs and installed a set of points to get the car running again, and am slowly sorting the car out to get it on the road.

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